Seat Belt Testing for Tensile Strength - Industrial Physics Seat Belt Testing for Tensile Strength - Industrial Physics

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Knowledgebase

Determining the Tensile Strength of Seat Belts

Seat belts may be small strips of fabric, but they are huge when it comes to the safety of drivers and passengers. Seat belt testing is a significant part of any safety check process for vehicles, and with good reason.  

They play a crucial role in protecting people on the road and, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, up to 14,955 lives have been saved by the wearing of seat belts in a single year.  

How much weight can a seat belt hold? 

Seat belts are designed to be able to hold a sudden jolt of 1,000 lbs of force. They have to be able to hold high weights as well as be capable of withstanding the extra force added by a sudden stop. The webbing that makes up seat belt fabric has extreme tensile strength and is capable of supporting about 3000-6000 lbs without force.  

What are seat belts made of? 

Seat belts are made of a type of fabric that is called webbing. It is typically made up tightly woven strands of nylon filament yarns or high tensile polyester filament yarn. Until the 1970s, most were made from nylon fiber. Now they are made of industrial strength polyester. Most seat belts use the three-point system and are made from one continuous strip of webbing. 

Tensile testing and seat belt strength

One of the most central tests for seat belt is their tensile strength. This is what tells you how much force a belt can withstand as well as how it will react to high force impacts. Tensile testing is highly adaptive and can be calibrated to give you the results you need to ensure seat belts are thoroughly tested.  

Tensile testing solutions 

Universal Testing Machines  

Offering a multitude of different tests in one frame, universal testing machines are a smart choice for carrying out tensile tests on seat belt webbing. We also have a wide range of accessories, so you can cut samples to the correct size and ensure they are securely gripped before testing.  

When testing seat belts, it’s also essential that you are able to match your results to the current safety regulations and standards, such as those laid out by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards including FMVSS 208. Find out more about key testing standards in the automotive industry.  

Automotive testing from seat belts to chassis

With more than 50 years of experience in automotive testing, our engineers lead the pack when it comes to everything from tensile testing for seat belts to impact testing car bodies or assessing the quality of paint and coatings. We’re here to help at every stage of the testing process, supporting everyone from tier 1 and 2 suppliers to manufacturers. Find out more about our automotive testing solutions.